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J Med Virol. 1992 Dec;38(4):240-5.

Assessment of former and newly developed HBV assays in a Third World setting.

Author information

1
Instituto de Inmunologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas.

Abstract

Newly available HBV serological assays have not been established routinely in most underdeveloped countries. Utilizing enzyme-immune assays to determine the presence of pre-S1 antigen and anti-pre-S2, and using two conventional hybridization techniques and the PCR assay to detect HBV-DNA, we studied 30 HBsAg chronic carriers and as a reference group 10 subjects whose only HBV routine marker was anti-HBc. Seventy-nine percent of the HBeAg positive carriers showed detectable HBV-DNA by a non-radioactive slot-blotting technique. The PCR assay was more sensitive than the slot-blotting technique, detecting HBV-DNA in anti-HBe positive patients with moderate or normal ALT activity. Pre-S1 antigen was mostly related to the presence of HBsAg and anti-pre-S2 was associated with active viremic state, increased ALT activity (ranges 51 to 640 IU/L), and with self-limited HBV infection. The presence of HBV-DNA in the group with anti-HBc only was detectable solely by the PCR assay. For an underdeveloped country the addition of a PCR assay or pre-S/anti-pre-S protein tests to the current assessment procedures of HBV chronic infection should be used only in selective cases. HBeAg/anti-HBe serological evaluation and HBV-DNA detection by a non-isotopic conventional hybridization technique still remain as useful tools to screen initially for the presence of viremia in chronic HBsAg carriers. The presence of HBV-DNA in individuals with anti-HBc only suggests that anti-HBc screening should be maintained and expanded to all the blood banks of less industrialized countries where the rate of HBV infection in apparently healthy people tends to be high.

PMID:
1474375
DOI:
10.1002/jmv.1890380403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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